Preparation of UV-protective kefiran/nano-ZnO nanocomposites: physical and mechanical properties.Int J Biol Macromol. 2015 Jan; 72:41-6.IJ
In this study, we investigated the effect of ZnO nanoparticles (ZN) as a UV-protective agent of kefiran biopolymers. Our results showed that with increasing ZN content, the tensile strength, elongation at break, and tensile energy to break the kefiran film and nanocomposites also increased. Kefiran nanocomposites with a ZN content higher than 2% produced a UV-protective film with good visual properties, low sensibility to water, and low water-vapor permeability. The thermal properties of all specimens, analyzed by DSC, showed that the ZN content had a negative effect on Tg and a positive effect on nanocomposites' melting point. TEM, SEM micrography and XRD spectrum analysis confirmed the hypothesis that ZNs act like a ball bearing, making movement of kefiran chains easier and increasing elongation at break, while simultaneously decreasing the Tg of kefiran nanocomposites.